Vertical Spaces

The higher the cat perch,
the lower the tension.

  1. Learn why it’s important to give your cat safe places to perch within your home.

    The favorite spot may be on the back of a chair or the sofa. You may see your cat eyeing a path up a bookcase. Or attempt to climb a doorframe or curtains.

    Whether you observe these actions daily, or hardly at all, your cat is wired to seek high spaces.

    In nature, cats often take to the trees.

    This keeps them hidden from predators, and gives them just the right vantage for surveying their territory and opportunistic hunting.

    While all cats are different - each having their own comfort zone with heights - this activity will show you how to introduce a variety of these elements to your home.

  2. Use What's There

    Make room on your fireplace mantel, the back of a sofa, a bookcase or another tall piece of furniture. Clear picture frames or knick-knacks so they don’t get knocked over. Be sure there are multiple ways up and down so your cat doesn’t get stuck, especially in multi-cat homes.

    To Complete This Step

    Have you cleared a place or two for your cat to perch? How long did it take for your cat to discover the new locations? Record the details in your Journal. And take a picture of a favorite hangout.

  3. Very Own Tree

    If you prefer to let your cat have its own high spaces, consider purchasing a cat tree or wall shelves specifically designed for cats. Just be mindful of the weight restrictions of hardware to avoid a fall or damage.

    To Complete This Step

    Have you invested in a cat tree or wall shelves? Have you seen your cat in a more relaxed state? What time of day does your cat take to the tree or shelf? Is it before or after a meal? Snap a photo of your cat in a favorite roost and make a note of any change in behavior since putting the structure in place.

  4. Working Up

    While some cat trees have multiple levels that can be used to work higher, it’s important to give your cat safe ways to access these high spaces. For instance, gradual steps up on adjacent furniture.

    To encourage your cat to use agility and grace, create safe places that are easily accessed by jumping, and "paths" of items that enable a climb or bounding from one spot to the next.

    To Complete This Step

    Have you shown your cat the proper path for getting up and down to a perch? How far up is the tallest perch? Describe the pathway in your notes.

  5. Scratch, Don't Slip

    Add Sisal rug to any high space or shelf made with high gloss materials so your cat doesn’t slip. Use Velcro strips to keep the rug in place. This gives your cat a safe place to scratch and leave her scent. And when the rug wears out, you can simply replace it by removing the Velcro piece and adding another.

    To Complete This Activity

    Take a picture of a location you’ve used a bit of Sisal rug. Has this become the preferred spot to lounge?

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